Last Wednesday night DigiWomen continued our series of events that help us achieve our mission of enabling connections through the understanding and use of technology. Working as online marketing consultants of various hues, Pauline and I meet clients daily who are baffled by aspects of online marketing. We know that there are folk amongst this network who are leading authorities so we approach them and ask them to clear up some of those conundrums. Understanding and use of technology increases, connections are enabled and we all go home happy!
This was very much the case last Wednesday at “Be Better At Facebook for Business.” Of course, I am completely biased so rather than gush about how well the event went I’m just going to share some of the interesting tidbits that I picked up from the three hugely knowledgeable and approachable speakers Priya Monga, Tracy Monaghan and Orla Malone. We actually got two for the price of one at this event: while Priya and Tracy focused on the Facebook platform, Orla gave an insightful presentation on Instagram for business.
Priya started the evening with an overview of Facebook, its current usage statistics, about the fact that mobile is now considered a video platform (More than 50% UK daily visitors watch video on Facebook).
— DigiWomen (@DigiWomenIRL) October 28, 2015
Priya also quickly cleared up the difference between a profile and a page, leading into the reasons a business should really be using a page to promote themselves. Not least of these are the insights that a page will give you on the content you share, helping you to understand how best to engage with your audience. For example, if your page has more than 100 likes then a functionality called “Pages to Watch” becomes available allowing you to compare how you are doing against pages Facebook deems similar to yours or a custom list that you can create. (As Facebook deems the DigiWomen Page similar to the Lad Bible I think we will go with that custom list!) Happily Facebook have a functionality that will allow you to convert your profile to a page and not lose any of those valuable fans. Once Priya had covered the basics her colleague Tracy Monaghan took to the floor. Tracy delved a little more into the advertising interfaces on the Facebook platform, demystifying the formats and functionalities. You know you can go right to your Advertising account by visiting Facebook.com/Business? The reason I mention this is that I’m sure some of you, like me, dread switching on Facebook when you are trying to work. Bookmark that now and bypass all the birthday wishes and baby photos 🙂 Once you have successfully managed to avoid getting sucked into Facebook liking and sharing it’s all business. When you decide to create a new advert, Facebook doesn’t mess around: they want you to set an objective from the get go.
This is the essence of any good business strategy: know what you want or need to get out of an activity before you even embark on it.
There are three types of adverts on Facebook:
- Photo ads – use an eyecatching picture about your business but keep text under 20%
- Carousel ads – use a collection of pictures to share more detail about your product or service
- Video ads – bearing in mind the statistic about video on mobile these could be really effective when used creatively
Tracy went on to share that Facebook has found that ads with more than 20% text on them tend not to do well on the platform. They are considered overly promotional. If you think about how ads appear alongside all the other image heavy content on Facebook, with large amounts of text, they will indeed stick out like a sore thumb in the same painful way.
Tracy also shared that Facebook will automagically optimize the content of your carousel ad (see example above) to show the best performing image first.
Tracy then shared two case studies with us. Yvolution is a Dublin based company selling a range of scooters, ride-ons and carts internationally. They can attribute 10% of their US sales to their Facebook activity and they found that use of Facebook advertising brought a 10% cost efficiency.
Another example shared was the Irish Fairy Door Company who can attribute 80% of their turnover to Facebook advertising. Tracy conceded that they are a great fit for Facebook given their target market.
Tracy then went into some detail about managing campaigns. The most important takeaway for anyone who is responsible for promoting their company on Facebook is that they have rolled out a new online learning resource called Blueprint. This has more than 30 modules on a range of topics that will allow you to learn at your own pace.
Next up was Orla Malone who focused on Instagram for Business. Did you know that it takes us 13 milliseconds to identify an image which is 60 (or was it 60,000?) times faster than words? This is one of the fundamental reasons why Instagram is so arresting for users. Orla also told us that
50% of Instagram users engage with images posted by folk they don’t know personally. Interesting for sponsored grams #BeBetterAt
— OnlineHubIE (@OnlineHubIE) October 28, 2015
(My opinion tagged on to the end of that fact!) Orla put a lot of emphasis on three fundamentals of Instagramming that businesses should keep in mind:
- Community first: always bear your community in mind when posting on Instagram. What interests them? What voice are they expecting to “hear”? What is the purpose of the post?
- Simplicity matters: this applies to the image, to the text, to the hashtags used. Keep it simple, easy to absorb in 13 milliseconds 🙂
- Consistency: be consistent about the story you tell about your product or service. If it’s a business account keep it business.
Instagram was born as an image platform and so it is not surprising that compared with other 4 social platforms it outperforms them with the same image. Again Instagram ads can be in three formats:
- Photo ads
- Carousel ads
- Video ads (now up to 30 seconds long)
It uses the same targeting criteria as Facebook and can actually be accessed through the Power Editor on Facebook. Did you know that on the Power Editor you can actually create a custom audience based on your email marketing list? You can either upload a CSV database or pull the list directly from your MailChimp account. This can help you find similar audiences to those who are already engaged with your business through a different means. Orla shared a couple of case studies most noticeably Bloom&Wild who are creating their videos with mobile in mind:
Orla and her colleagues recommended checking out the Instagram Business Blog for regular updates and more strategies to grow your business with Instagram. There followed an indepth Q&A session which covered targeting, budgeting, local awareness ads (Could they be used to promote your company being at the Web Summit while at the Web Summit? Probably no because it pulls the geography from your company’s listed address.), calls to action, advertising not for profits and the power editor. Also included were a number of questions from those following the #BeBetterAt hashtag on Twitter. As I mentioned on Twitter on the evening:
However sometimes I don’t pick up all the most salient tips. If you were there and feel that I missed any key information in this blog post please add a comment below and I would be happy to highlight it. We already have our next Be Better At event lined up for 25 November so watch this space for more details shortly!